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To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future
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To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  930 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Would you willingly overlook clear direction from God that speaks directly to you and where you are in life right now?

God’s guidance is near at hand. He is not only your Authority, he is also your Author. As God writes the stories of your life, he uses your past to open up your future.

It is your privilege to listen to your own story so you can live boldly for the sake of
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by WaterBrook (first published 2005)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  930 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book got me writing again. Although I love Dan Allender's work, I didn't expect to be so moved by this particular title. The power of personal story has been a popular topic for years now (see Donald Miller's "A Million Miles..."), and I had an attitude of "been there, done that." I was wrong. I love Allender's emphasis on how our personal stories help reveal the greatest story, the story that God is telling about himself. This is not idle navel-gazing; this is truth-telling, the kind that ...more
Helen Gillette
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book came at just the right time. I was attempting to dig deeply into my past to be able to understand more about who, what, and the why of me. I wanted to fill in some missing puzzle pieces of my life. I was actually able to be a part of a Story Group, based on Dan Allender's teaching. Once I started putting pen to paper and writing My Story, there was a freeing of my soul and a realization of life patterns. This book helped me learn more of how to add to my story and understand things abo ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am inspired to dream beyond the limitations mankind has set upon me. Embrace risk and embark on a great and holy adventure. Jesus came to give us a full life. He left each of us with certain gifts in unequal measures. What will you do with the weight of glory entrusted to you? Will you hide it or invest wisely the talents bestowed to you?
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
Dan Allender has written an excellent and inspiring book on knowing, understanding and embracing the story God is writing of your life, based on the theme of the circumstances He has uniquely and purposefully allowed into your life. Illustrated with powerful stories from the lives of others, it assures you of God's goodness, healing power and transformation in your own life as you come to know, share and even co-author your own story.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have never really thought about the importance of telling our stories. This book opened my eyes to how we not only need to share our story but also listen to the stories of others. In telling my story, I am telling God's story. When we we look at our past....the hurts, the ugly parts, the joy and triumphs we can see the theme/themes that God is weaving into our story and when we do that we are able to see how God is giving us a role in His story. We can start to see his calling in our life. I ...more
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
While the overall concept of reading your life as a story that has characters, plot, drama etc., is intriguing and helpful, this book fell short for me. It does have several profound moments but overall I didn't appreciate Allender's writing style. The book did however work well for creating discussion--I lead a small group of friends through this book this summer and if it weren't for our lively discussions I probably would have stopped reading this.
Kelly Collins
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
The information in this book should have been a blog or magazine article. It did not warrant an entire book.
Emily Fromke
May 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I feel like a three star review for this book needs a little explanation (both for David Katibah and the general public). Dan Allender’s thesis is that 1) we as human beings are hardwired for narrative and stories 2) the narratives that we and others tell about our lives have a bearing on the way that we understand our own identities and how we interact in the world 3) our micro narratives are a part of the larger metanarrative of creation/fall/redemption/consummation 5) we get to join God in be ...more
Amy Robinson
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was reading through the reviews and found it disturbing that people do not want to hear about other Christians abuse that they have suffered in their lives. I gave this book a five star rating for several reasons, one he is extremely authentic and he knows that through sharing his story, he is helping others find their place as well. Also, because he stresses the importance of journaling because we need to know who we are!!! If we are avoiding past experiences of adversity in our lives (includ ...more
Tyler Williams
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ok, this book SHOULD have been a 5 star read, I can easily see how it would be life changing and future transforming. I loved Allender’s thought process and feel like I really missed out on this book... probably will read it again. However, it felt like only a 3 star book as I read it because of 2 factors. First, it is definitely a book that needs you to do the homework to get the fullness of its potential out of it. And if you read it in community with those you trust and discuss, even better. ...more
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dan Allender has a positive gift for tearing me apart with words. Read his books.

This one in particular jolted me between excitement, passion, elation, terror, shame, embarrassment, and nearly everything else in between. Allender forced me to confront my own life in a way I've never had to before: honestly, sympathetically, critically, and redemptively. His gentle encouragement and piercing words did more to wreck my preconceived notions about myself than any other book I've read.

I'm still proce
Dwayne A Milley
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was supposed to read this book a couple of weeks ago for an assignment for some education I’m taking. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the syllabus correctly and submitted the assignment having not read the book. Oops! When I learned this earlier this week, I quickly downloaded the book (Kobo) and committed to read it over the weekend. It took me about 3.5 hours all said.

It’s a very good book, and written very much from a Christian perspective. It speaks to the power of our story and how we can s
Katharine Mccormack
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am speechless about this book. IDr. Allender's writing changed my life. I read the book for school, yet read the entire book aloud, at the same time, chapter by chapter, to my younger brother. (The word "younger" is a kindness here . . . we are not young.)

As I read, his wife's diagnosis of cancer, with a large tumor, became more and more sure. And God's message to him, through Dr. Allender, became more and more clear ~ at least to me.

I wanted to meet the person who could write with such power
Samuel Kassing
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"To be Told" is a book on reflection and hope. Allender walks us through how our stories, specifically the past dimension of them is shaping us. By reflecting on how God has sovereignty authored our past we can more accurately co-author our future with him.

God didn't flippantly write your past. Which means there are themes he wants to reveal to publish his character and glory in your life.

To do this is a somewhat scary task. You have to be willing to examine your past. Even the broken aspects
Mary Featherstone
Profoundly moving

I am profoundly grateful to Dan Allender for writing this book and encouraging me to go with God into the deep end as I look at the story He has written me into. To dare to consider writing my story to offer hope to others and reveal the glory of God and His redemptive plan in my life feels very risky. I am looking at a painful past with new eyes, even gratitude and most certainly hope because of His Authorship. To consider co-authoring the rest of my life makes me shake my head
Wendy Olson
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is the first book you want to read when you start embracing your story. His podcast and coinciding students podcasts are something you’re going to want to subscribe to. I recommend The Allender Center and The Place We Find Ourselves podcasts just to start. This book walks you through how a story should be written, but it’s not for just authors. It’s for everyone whose had trauma, everyone whose survived their life, everyone who needs healing and wholeness ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great review of your past, with an eye to how it shapes your future, Dan Allender is an excellent story teller and encourager for you. Our group of 20, with probably 12 attending each week has found it to be a good stimulator of conversation in small group, as well as helping us explore our past and the hurtful times. There is a workbook available also all though it is more expensive. I would not buy it unless you wanted to learn to journal and refine your writing.
Wojik Romanovicz

This book has moved me on a journey toward understanding. An understanding I think I've always known, but have been too intimidated to experience. Our stories are powerful, and it is in the telling that we find the unmistakeable work of God in our lives. A reminder that we are not to keep our lamp under a basket, but instead hold it high to light and know our path.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
It was very redundant and flowery. It could have been summed up in one article, but he wanted to sell a book. I also don't believe in a lot of the things he professes as true. A lot of philosophies of men mingled with scripture here. And not even the scriptures I believe in, but different translations.
Nancy Piper
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Story is life changing!

We all ache for someone to know our story. We are called to be a safe place to hold others life stories with love and honor as well as our own . This book pierced my heart. I want to tell my story and I want to hear yours.
Timothy N Brooks
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Story

I love the challenge of reading / writing our stories . It has inspired me to write my story to understand better how God is working in my life and how he wants to work in my life. And most importantly how I can cooperate with the story he wants to write in my life
Ariana Scott
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was really helpful in being able to look back on my life and clearly identify connections between certain events and how they are affecting me now. In turn, I'm able to better understand and work through them with the Lord.
Zoe Hisey
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'd read this book a few years ago but as with many books, I found myself understanding things more deeply and in different ways this round. I came away with a newfound desire to be involved with story telling and the healing it brings.
Ellen Beckham
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Absolutely loved this book. It taught me a lot about understanding my own story and beginning to write it. Such a deep and interesting book and would highly suggest to everyone.
Sarah Knox
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gloriously good!!

"I wait for His coming, and it will be through story that He arrives." p219

A must read.
Lisa Enqvist
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I need to reread the book and do the exercises to get more out of it.
Gail Tolles
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book. Took lots of notes and began writing some defining life stories.
Jul 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Decent enough core ideas, but too long for what it says.
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Dan B. Allender, Ph.D, is a fly fisherman who also serves as president and professor of counseling at Mars Hill Graduate School near Seattle, Washington. He is a therapist in private practice, and a frequent speaker and seminar leader. Dan received his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University. He is the author of To Be Told: ...more

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Rumaan Alam began writing Leave the World Behind with a series of tweets on a secret Twitter account he started two years ago.   The book that...
10 likes · 2 comments
“Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement or pursuit—for any season—sets the stage for God to appear. Fasting is not a tool to pry wisdom out of God's hands or to force needed insight about a decision. Fasting is not a tool for gaining discipline or developing piety (whatever that might be). Instead, fasting is the bulimic act of ridding ourselves of our fullness to attune our senses to the mysteries that swirl in and around us."—Dan B. Allender, PhD” 14 likes
“So take seriously the story that God has given you to live. It’s time to read your own life, because your story is the one that could set us all ablaze.” 7 likes
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